This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Riptide
Released on August 25, 2014
Certain books just scream ‘Summer Read’ to me and this one did. It has a quality that can be enjoyed during any season to be sure, but a new romance and wake boarding at the lake? That’s summer fun to me. This was my first time with this author and I have to say that I’ve definitely been missing out with the way she tells a story. I really identified with the main character even though we have little actually in common and I was taken with how his thoughts and feelings had a genuine aspect that were heavy at times, but yet didn’t make reading the story a drag.
The book opens with former star and wake-board champion, Ben Warren, being approached by a wealthy younger man wishing to take lessons. Ben takes one look at Davis Fox and pigeonholes him into a certain category and not one he likes. At first, he has no desire to take Davis on as a student, but then he learns what is motivating the man.
Davis came out to his mom and step-dad years ago and was rejected never allowed to stay in contact particularly with his younger brother. He had good years with his dad while he was alive, but now he wants to re-connect with Ridley in the only way he knows how since Ridley is an up and coming wakeboard star preparing for the tournament held at the end of the summer on the local lake.
Ben is strongly attracted to Dave so it isn’t long before they have something good going between wakeboard lessons and time together. Ben’s friend, Eddie, helps out, but pushes Ben to tell Dave the whole truth since things are getting serious. Ben lays his most dirty secret out there though not all of it holding his breath to see what Dave does with it. For the first time in his life, Ben is attached and knows how big a blow it will be if Dave rejects him and sends him packing.
The book read fast and easy even though there were some pretty serious themes presented. These themes gave the story depth and heart particularly in how they related to the character development. The story really only has a main character, Ben, and is told from his first person perspective. His character telling the story didn’t hinder the ability to know the other characters, Eddie, Dave, Tina, and Ridley. Ben was easy to root for and read from his perspective. As character’s go, Eddie, was probably the most memorable. He is flamboyant with a heart of gold and a head full of wisdom.
The attraction is nearly instant, but the romance began forming almost immediately. It was engaging the way the two men tripped around and worked to get things right. Misunderstandings were a big part in creating bumps in the road, but it didn’t get angsty when it happened. Ben is a decade older, but Dave is pretty mature so that doesn’t really factor in much. He does get himself into a stew about who is in charge in the bedroom, but again, not the big thing that finally breaks them. The biggest thing that broke them up was hard to read because I saw both sides though I was more put out with Dave because he really shut poor Ben down at a tough time. I was also antsy about where things would go from there, but the author didn’t fill up unnecessary pages with unnecessary actions, thoughts and emotions. The flow and the pacing were perfect. It stayed tight and resolved in a good way.
As soon as I set this one down, I started perusing the author’s backlist and adding a couple to the ever growing wish list because I was so enthralled with this story. It went by fast, but wasn’t forgettable. Those who enjoy quick, poignant and hot m/m contemporary romance should grab this one up. Those looking for an engaging summer read; this is for you too.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.